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Guster, Kerry On Tour

Guster, Kerry On TourDemocratic presidential candidate John Kerry turned to the popular band of Tufts graduates to pump up his audiences during a new college tour. Durham, NH.

Boston [04.14.04] While the Tufts graduates who make up Guster have shared the stage with some big names - from Bare Naked Ladies to Dave Matthews - their double billing at the University of New Hampshire this week marked a first for the rising band. Kicking off a national college tour for Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the Tufts trio meshed their music with politics at a rally to support the Democratic Party's presumed nominee for President.

"We're Guster, and this is our first political event," lead singer Ryan Miller told the crowded audience as the band took the stage to kick off Kerry's first "Change Begins With U" college event. "And we're really proud to be here."

Guster - a popular act among college audiences across the country - played a three song set before Kerry took the stage.

The band is part of a small - but well known - list of musicians and public figures touring with the Massachusetts senator as he visits a string of colleges across the country. Bon Jovi, Hillary Clinton and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell are also slated to share the stage with Kerry at future stops on the tour.

"[For the kick off event at UNH,] Guster guitarist Adam Gardner said he felt the Kerry campaign was looking for a New England-based band that appeals to a college crowd," reported the Portsmouth Herald. Kerry found Guster - which seemed to fit the bill perfectly - through Gardner's former roommate at Tufts, who knows one of Kerry's campaign workers.

Until this week, the Tufts graduates haven't mixed their music with particular political issues. But after talking about their shared political views on the upcoming election, they decided to take part in the rally.

"It's black and white," Garnder told the UNH student newspaper. "I think all of us could very clearly say we are going to support Kerry."

Miller agreed. "For me, I wanted to feel I was doing what I could to support the campaign - it's more a personal feeling of empowerment," he said.

For many of the UNH students on hand, the event was as much about the music as politics.

"I'm pretty much decided on Kerry, but I want to hear more from him -- and definitely Guster's a benefit, too," UNH freshman Nick Cassidy told the Boston Globe.

Skipping class to attend the event, junior Becky LaPlant told the Herald: "I came mostly for Guster, but also for Kerry, sure."

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